Leoncio Lopes honoured for his musical contributions to Statia | THE DAILY HERALD

Leoncio “The Artist Private” Lopes holding the CTC Radio award.

 ST. EUSTATIUS–Leoncio Zhivago Lopes, affectionately known as “The Artist Private,” was honoured Monday evening by CTC Radio for his contribution to music in St. Eustatius.

“The musical society of St. Eustatius thank you for exposing to the world our talent in multiple capacities as an artiste, producer, writer, master of ceremonies, promoter and disc jockey. CTC Radio, on behalf of the community of Statia, would like to honour you for all that you do,” Master of Ceremonies Sjahairah “ Lady Shorteh” Fleming said in presenting Lopes with an award.

Born in Aruba on December 1, 1967, Lopes was raised by his grandparents and other relatives until the tender age of five, after which he migrated to St. Maarten to be reunited with his parents. He came to Statia in 1986 at the age of 18 and volunteered as a disc jockey at PJE3 radio.

Listeners would call in asking about the new disc jockey, but Lopes kept it a secret and asked his colleagues to keep it private. He soon became known as the “private DJ” and adopted the name “Private.”

Lopes joined the Patience band, and in 1995 he was hired by the island government taking on a new role at the St. Eustatius Fire Department.

He joined the Rebels Band in 1999 and rose them into fame with their first CD titled “We Gone Beyond,” which consisted of 10 hits. The popular track “Statia on Fire,” which was based on false accusations pointing Lopes out as an arsonist, won him his first Road March title.

His then-fiancée and wife Mercedes Lopes-Spanner encouraged him to enter into the Calypso arena in 2000, to prove he had what it took to become Statia’s Calypso King.

One year later he captured the title with “Stop it Statia,” about rumours in the community. He stretched his reign as Calypso King until 2004.

He went on to produce two CDs of his own and released a new hit in June. He also arranged many songs for various well-known artistes.

Lopes no longer competes in Calypso, but prefers to be a solo artist, writing and producing his own lyrics and music.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/79195-leoncio-lopes-honoured-for-his-musical-contributions-to-statia